Position sensors

What are position sensors?

Position sensors measure the position of a moving part called a target relative to a fixed part.Particularly used are non-contact position sensors, in which the fixed part and the moving part do not touch, ensuring better robustness and mechanical durability of the sensor.

The future is inductive

Ratiometric inductive position sensors (IPS) based on printed circuit board (PCB) technology are an emerging technology that is proving successful due to its cost-effectiveness and greater resistance to hostile environments (high temperatures, presence of dust and liquids, external electromagnetic fields) than other technologies such as Hall effect sensors, Giant Magneto Resistance (GMR) sensors, or optical encoders.

These types of sensors are therefore particularly suitable for both automotive electrification and industrial machine automation in accordance with Industry 4.0 issues. On their side, inductive sensors also have a cost reduced by orders of magnitude compared to optical sensors and resolvers. Finally, they do not require permanent magnets, the sourcing of which is necessarily directed to the Far East, generating possible supply chain issues in the unstable environment in which we live.

The uniqueness of our offering

Thanks to the know-how developed over two decades of academic research, we have devised new types of sensors that exploit electromagnetic fields. Unlike sensors already on the market, we differ in several ways.

  • Advanced design

    We don't resell sensors, we design and manufacture them in-house

  • Personalized dimensions

    Thanks to agile design, enabled by our patented and totally in-house developed electromagnetic simulation software, we can make tailor-made products

What we offer

We offer a highly customized service from prototype development to production and industrialization.

In addition, for those who need the realization of many different designs, we offer IPSMagic software, a vertical tool for the design and automatic optimization of position sensors.

Where they are usedA team of electronic engineers, mathematicians and programmers develops the entire system by testing and validating it in our laboratories.

Where position sensors are used

These sensors are found in most products both industrial and those aimed at the consumer market. For sensors that measure a rotary motion, applications range from the automotive sector (powertrain management in electric cars, accelerator and brake pedals, windshield wiper position, etc.) to household appliances (electric motor control, knobs for program selection), through automation in the medical and industrial sectors.

As for sensors that measure linear motion, applications range from level sensors (e.g., fuel level in an automobile) to positioning in a linear motion axis in a robotic system (e.g., a CNC milling machine).

Sectors involved

Placement flexibility

Sensors that measure rotational motion can be positioned in three different ways:

     1. end-of-shaft, that is, the target is positioned at the end of the shaft;

     2. through-shaft, i.e., the target and the fixed part are through the shaft;

     3. side-shaft, that is, the fixed part is an arc sensor.

Intestazione 1

Titolo 1

Si possono anche utilizzare materiali ferromagnetici come ferro e acciaio, che però risentono maggiormente di campi magneti statici esterni e variazioni di temperatura. L’albero stesso può fungere da target se la sua estremità è opportunamente lavorata.

Flexibility absolute or incremental sensor, or both

An absolute position sensor is able to determine the position of the target relative to a reference position.In contrast, an incremental position sensor is able to measure the change in target position. 

The advantage of incremental sensors is the increased resolution and accuracy of the sensor. The disadvantage is the inability to detect the absolute position of the target.

Another possibility is to build two sensors, an absolute corase one for the determination of the absolute position and an incremental one to improve the accuracy.

Flexibility in the realization of the target

It is particularly convenient to make the target with PCB technology. However, the target can be made with any conductive material such as copper or aluminum.

Ferromagnetic materials such as iron and steel can also be used, but their behaviour may be affected by external static magnetic fields and temperature variations. 

The shaft itself can serve as a target if its end is properly machined.

Titolo 2

È particolarmente conveniente realizzare il target con tecnologia PCB. Però il target può essere realizzato con qualsiasi materiale conduttore come rame o alluminio.

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